Six Honored With National Highway Safety Awards

Resource Type

September 19, 2017

Contact: Kara Macek,
202-262-4889 (mobile/onsite)

Association recognizes leaders in research, advocacy, state government and program development

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Today, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) presented its 2017 highway safety awards to three individuals who have made a tremendous impact on improving highway safety and three programs tackling the nation’s foremost highway safety challenges at a luncheon as part of its 2017 Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility ( and The National Road Safety Foundation sponsored the luncheon.

GHSA presented its most prestigious honor, the James J. Howard Highway Safety Trailblazer Award, to Adrian K. Lund, Ph.D., President of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Throughout his 36-year career at IIHS, Dr. Lund led projects contributing to policy changes, business changes, and behavioral changes that have saved tens of thousands of lives and spanned a wide range of issues that impact the safety of all road users. Under his leadership, IIHS changed the new vehicle marketplace to make safety a selling point and provided the research that directly impacted state highway safety programs. Through it all, he forged productive partnerships with the states, GHSA, and other highway safety groups.

Two individuals were recognized with the Kathryn J.R. Swanson Public Service Award:

  • William L. Hall, a Senior Research Associate with the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, has devoted his career to research and public education on child passenger safety, both in North Carolina and across the country. His work has led to the widespread acceptance of the idea that children should be restrained while riding in cars, the passage of North Carolina’s first child passenger safety law, and the training programs that have certified thousands of child passenger safety technicians across the country.
  • Trenda McPherson is the State Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program Manager at the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Traffic Safety Office, and the former manager of the Florida Motorcycle Safety Program. In her tenure at FDOT, McPherson has taken a hands-on, strategic, and data-driven approach to the programs she has managed. Under her stewardship of the motorcyclist safety program, Florida saw a 30 percent drop in motorcycle fatalities and a nearly 22 percent reduction in motorcycle injuries. And through her program’s bicyclist and pedestrian safety efforts, over a period of two years, the state moved from having the highest pedestrian fatality rate in the nation to fifth place.

GHSA also presented three Peter K. O’Rourke Special Achievement Awards for outstanding highway safety accomplishments during the prior year to the following programs:

  • The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, a law enforcement agency outside Seattle, Washington, that realized that a key component of protecting their employees was to make driving and traffic safety a priority. The office embarked on a multi-pronged approach to change the mindset and habits of their employees through education, a more restrictive pursuit policy with an emphasis on safety and accountability, and the incorporation of Below 100 tenets into employee training and communications that helped reduce the number of on-duty crashes by 16 percent in 2016, and preventable collisions by 13 percent.
  • The Teen Driver Impact Program in Mississippi, an effort that not only trains teens on how to drive safely, but also provides an experiential approach to make them understand why to drive safely. Nearly all attendees report that the class has changed the way they drive. Participants report a 13 percent increase in the use of seat belts by drivers and a 20 percentage point increase by passengers following completion of the class.
  • Watch for Me NC, a comprehensive effort to reduce bicyclist and pedestrian deaths in North Carolina by combining public education and high visibility enforcement, strengthened by partnerships with local communities around the state. The program is growing rapidly, from four pilot communities in 2012 to 25 communities in 2016, and a similar effort is now underway in Oklahoma City, OK. Evaluations show significant increases in law enforcement officer knowledge of pedestrian and bicycle laws and a 32 percent increase in the rate of drivers complying with yielding laws at pedestrian intersections.

More information on the awards can be found at To request a photo from the awards presentation, contact Madison Forker at, or call 650-218-2065. The full GHSA Annual Meeting schedule is available online.

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About GHSA
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit Find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.

About the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility ( is a leader in the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and is funded by distillers to promote responsible decision-making regarding beverage alcohol. For more information, go to

About The National Road Safety Foundation

The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. (NRSF) is a non-profit organization that for more than 50-years has been dedicated to reducing deaths and injuries on our nation's roads by promoting safe driving awareness and lifelong education. NRSF produces free traffic safety programs on distracted driving, drowsy driving, speed, impairment and a host of other safe driving issues. NRSF also sponsors contests to engage teens while promoting safe driving to their peers and their communities. For more information or to download free programs, visit or